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Local Autism Centers Have Spanish Resources

July 21, 2002

Re "Latino Group Bridges the Barriers of Autism," July 8:

Thank you for your interest in the challenges facing parents of children with autism. With the recent dramatic increase in autism diagnoses, the media can provide a tremendous public service by helping make people aware of the resources available to children and adults with autism.

Your article highlighted one of those resources, Grupo de Autismo Angeles. However, as the nonprofit organization contracted by the state of California to coordinate services for Orange County's more than 13,000 people with developmental disabilities, we at Regional Center of Orange County are concerned that this story could leave some Spanish-speaking readers with a sense of hopelessness.

All parents, regardless of the language they speak, need to know that there is a wealth of resources available to them through their local regional center. At Regional Center of Orange County, for example, where we serve a large number of Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking families.

We employ bilingual service coordinators. All information we produce is also provided in Spanish and Vietnamese.

Translators are available upon request at all public meetings Regional Center of Orange County organizes.

Several of the autism service providers that we fund employ Spanish-speaking staff.

Of course, we are always working to improve the resources we provide. We welcome suggestions for how we can better respond to people's needs.

Bill Bowman

Executive Director

Regional Center of Orange County

Santa Ana


The special education aide N. Good who wrote in to say that autistic kids can never function normally and "drain" a school system of funds for "normal" kids may be onto something. Just think of how much money we could save if we let disabled kids sit on the curb at home all day until it was their turn to get into an institution. That's what we used to do, and it worked fine, right?

Think about how much therapy these kids need, how much food they eat. Hey--why not kill them? They'll never return the efforts spent on them. Then we'll have much more money for the rest of us ... but wait ... the first crematorium was built in Germany by the Nazis just for disabled people. Hmm, better think of something else.

My son is 90% recovered from autism due to the money "wasted" on him. Now he won't cost society $2- or $3 million over his lifetime.

C. Adams

Costa Mesa

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